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10 March 2023

The women behind Little Flowers – Part Two, Nastia Gladushchenko

It was International Women's Day this week. Perfect timing to introduce you to some of the fabulous women on the Little Flowers team, past and present, and tell you about their creative endeavours out...

If you live in Sydney’s Inner West, you almost certainly will have seen Nastia’s amazing botanical murals. And they can now be found everywhere from Camden to Queanbeyan. What you might not know however, is that we were lucky enough to have Nastia on the Little Flowers team many years ago. We caught up with Nastia to talk about her art and reminisce about delivering flowers in Sydney to random strangers.


What can you remember about your time at Little Flowers?

I first found out about Little Flowers when I saw the team assembling bunches of flowers at the back of Velvet Garage – an awesome cafe that used to be just down the road from our place, that we loved to eat at and hang out. I loved the energy and all the gorgeous humans working there and of course all the flowers! And I loved seeing the bikes loaded up to deliver flowers around Sydney. I got to design the bunches, buy flowers at the local flower markets and assemble bunches at the studio in Alexandria. It was the most supportive, lovely environment I’ve ever worked in with a great ethos and great attitude to the world. The culture was very fun and inclusive. Sometimes if we had bunches left over from the day, I would take one or two and give them out to people in the street – I wish I was a good enough writer to describe the looks on these peoples’ overjoyed faces when they found out the bunch of flowers I was holding out in front of me were for them.



Tell us about what you do now

I’m an artist and mostly work on public art in the form of murals as well as smaller painted pieces on canvas and board that I show in galleries. I trained as an Interior Architect and when one day I won a callout to do a large-scale mural in Paddington I felt like murals brought my love of art and the built environment together in a very organic way so I have been obsessed ever since. I studied Interior Architecture at UNSW and overseas in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and over the years I’ve worked as an interior designer, graphic designer, art therapist, florist and photographer just to name a few!


How was your art evolved over the years? 

I have continued to try to push and experiment with my art to keep it feeling fresh. It has definitely become a little more wild and free recently.


What’s your average week like?

I’m a new mum so a lot of it is now caring for my eight month old but my partner and I tag team if we’re both working from home and if I have a mural job on during the week, we travel to wherever it is as a family and my partner looks after our baby Mia. On the weekends my partner is often photographing elopements or small weddings regionally so we’re either there with him, exploring bush walks and waterfalls around our home in the Blue Mountains, working in the garden or meeting friends for picnics.




What’s been your greatest achievement so far?

Winning the Frankie Good Stuff awards in 2021, becoming part of Day Gallery in Blackheath and showing work with them and building a house with my partner have all felt like unreal milestones in my interiors/art career. Becoming a mum has been very life changing and magical though and much more fun than I expected so it sort of tops the list of special things in my life for the moment.


Are there any challenges that come with your job?

Time management! It’s hard to take time off because there’s no one to take over so I’m always thinking about work but I love it so its a good problem to have I guess. And the weather, there’s nothing worse than planning a mural for six months only to get stuck in a spontaneous downpour!


What makes you love what you do?

Connecting with clients/people who are passionate about the environment, getting to research lots of plants and flowers for every commission, playing with colour palettes, getting to know people and their life to create site specific works, working outdoors a lot, having a very flexible schedule and being able to live in the Blue Mountains are just some of the reasons why I love this work.



What would you say to someone just starting out in the art world?

Take lots of chances, keep making and experimenting and find your people as they are the ones who will understand your work and encourage you to keep going even when it feels tough!


What do you enjoy about working with flowers?

I love that they are a super inclusive symbol that can break down the boundaries of language, culture and geography. I am constantly amazed by the way strangers can talk for ages to me about flowers and the memories associated with them. As a symbol they are so powerful and as an object they are just divine and magical.


How do flowers inspire your art? 

My work is all about finding connections, parallels and metaphors with/for the human world with flowers and plants so I spend a lot of time reading journals like Wonderground, books like Brilliant Green, going for walks to find local flowers in season and generally keep my eyes open for anything flower related as it all makes its way into my work.


Do you have a favourite flower

My absolute favourite flower is the Lilac, mostly because of the memories it conjures, the family history it reminds me of and because of the people I remember when I think of it but also because it smells intoxicating and truly heralds in the Spring. Since I was a kid living in Sydney, my mum would call all the gardens in the Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains around my birthday in October to check if their Lilacs had popped yet so I could celebrate my birthday surrounded by them. Yep we take Lilacs seriously in my family haha.


Have you ever sent or received Little Flowers? If so, who were your flower deliveries for?!

Yes and yes! To too many people to remember and from too many people to remember but they ranged from birthday flowers to little mid week treats from lovely mates.


If you were going to organise a flower delivery in Sydney today, who would it be and why?

Right now I wish I could hand deliver a big bunch to my mum to surprise her and thank her for all her help and visits at the moment! We live in the Blue Mountains and she often does a return trip up from Sydney just to take my baby Mia for a walk and bring us lunch so she definitely deserves a flowery treat!

Where can we find out more about your art?

You can follow me on Instagram @nastiagladu and my website is nastia-gladushchenko.com/

And if, like Nastia, you’d like to surprise a family member with a flower delivery in Sydney, just click here to order.



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